Chicken Stock

A good chicken stock recipe is one that everyone should have (see my Kitchen Staple tag for other must have recipes), and it ensures that every part of the chicken is going to good use.  I usually make this twice a month, and this chicken stock can be used anywhere a recipe calls for stock or broth (for broth, dilute 2/3 stock 1/3 water).

Always wanting to get the absolute most bang for my buck, I buy whole chickens to cook things like Chicken Pot Pie, and then make chicken stock with the carcasses (so nothing is wasted).  If you don’t know how to break down a chicken (I didn’t either until this past year), YouTube is a great place to learn!  The video I learned from was: Chef Jay’s How To Break Down A Chicken.  Also, if your chicken comes with gizzards, search around online and you’ll find that there are a lot of surprising ways to use them and get their nutrition without their taste.  Personally, I freeze mine and then when I have enough, I’ll make my cats some homemade cat food/treats.

This recipe was adapted from Ina Garten’s Chicken Stock Recipe.

Chicken Stock:

Chicken Stock (Before Cooking)

Equipment:

  • Large Stock Pot, Knife, Cutting Board, Peeler, Large Liquid Measuring Cup, Large Colander, Various Sized Tupperware Containers, Spoon

Ingredients:

  • 2 chicken carcasses (or 1 carcass and 1 bag of chicken bones – can be purchased from the market, usually for about $1)
  • 1/2 bunch fresh parsley
  • 1/2 bunch fresh thyme
  • 2 large onions, skins on and quartered
  • 1 head of garlic, skins on and cut in half crosswise
  • 6 stalks celery, including some with leaves, cut into thirds
  • 2 large carrots, peeled, trimmed and cut into thirds
  • 1/4 cup Kosher salt
  • 3 Tbsp whole black peppercorns
  • Water

Directions:

Chicken Stock (after 4 hours)

1) Prepare and add all ingredients to the large stock pot.  Fill the pot with water, keeping in mind that it will expands as it heats up, so leave a little room at the top!

2) Cover and bring to a boil over Med High heat.  Remove the cover, reduce the heat to Med Low and let the stock simmer for 4 hours.  Add hot water as needed to keep the pot full (some will evaporate off).

3) After 4 hours, strain the stock with the colander into what ever sized containers you have.  Discard the solids.

4) Cover the containers and refrigerate the stock overnight.  The next day, use a spoon to scrape off and discard the congealed layer of fat on top of each of the containers of chicken stock.

5) Use immediately (and ENJOY!!) or freeze up to 3 months.

*Note: How much stock you get depends on how large your pot is.  I usually get 4 quarts of stock.  Because this stock has to be frozen if you’re not using it all right away, dividing it up into different sized containers lets me thaw only as much as I need for whatever I’m cooking (i.e. if soup, then thaw 2 quarts, if making a sauce then only 1 cup).  This is a good, not necessarily common sense trick to remember, and it’s helped me not waste ingredients!

Also, whenever I use chicken stock in future recipes, this is what I’ll be using!  So, if I dilute mine (which I often do to stretch it and get more servings from it), adjust accordingly if you’re not using this stock!

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